McCain, Feingold to speak Monday

Farhanaz Kermalli

Following a presidential election that cost more money than any other in history, U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) will bring their campaign finance reform message to Northwestern on Monday.

The event, part of the Medill School of Journalism’s Crain Lecture Series, is scheduled at 2 p.m. in Fisk Hall 217 and will follow the format of a town hall meeting.

Although the senators will focus on the issue of campaign finance reform, audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions on various topics such as Medicare and prescription drugs, said Medill Dean Ken Bode, who moderates the lecture series.

“Here you have a burning public issue, probably one of the most important issues the country faces, and you have a very important coalition (coming to campus),” Bode said, noting that the senators belong to different political parties.

McCain and Feingold recently introduced a bipartisan bill to the Senate that would ban soft money contributions and would help restrict corporate spending on campaign advertisements.

McCain met with his former rival President Bush on Jan. 24 to discuss campaign finance reform. Congressional leaders from both parties agreed after the meeting to make such legislation a priority.

Like McCain and Feingold, NU students of different political views agree on the importance of campaign finance reform.

“I think Senator McCain and Senator Feingold will certainly present a new perspective on campaign finance,” said Weinberg junior James Strong, president of College Republicans. “It’s a good way to encourage a political dialogue on campus.”

Courtney Brunsfeld, president of College Democrats, said she supports the senators’ bill and looks forward to hearing them speak.

“This is a really important piece of legislation, and it would be really groundbreaking if it passed,” said Brunsfeld, a Weinberg sophomore. “It’s really good they’re going out to promote this because campaign finance is sometimes overlooked and would make a world of difference in how campaigns function (if reformed).

“Allowing students the chance to learn about it would be really beneficial, especially from such influential politicians.”